Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Sunshine-sweet lemon blueberry layer cake dotted with juicy berries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. One of the most popular cake recipes on this website!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

What on earth is a lusciously fruit-filled recipe like this doing on my kitchen table in February? I love the snow, but someone pass me a fork. I’m diving headfirst into this sunshine-sweet, springtime layer cake and not coming out until it’s April.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Cake

  • Fresh lemons. Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the cake batter. None of that lemon extract stuff! How to choose lemons at the store? Make sure the lemons you choose are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. That way you know they are extra juicy.
  • Buttermilk. Known for providing exceptional moisture to baked goods, buttermilk leaves each bite tender and lush. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use whole milk instead.
  • Brown sugar & 4 eggs: I’ve found that lemon cakes can easily be dry and gritty, so add some moist-making ingredients like brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Buttermilk, a little brown sugar, and 4 eggs assure the final product is as moist as it could possibly be without being wet.
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries: Fresh or frozen blueberries are OK. If using frozen, do not thaw.

I love this lemon blueberry cake because the blueberries DO NOT sink to the bottom of the cake. Why not? The batter is thick. When you have a thin batter, heavy fruit or add-ins will sink to the bottom. I also recommend tossing the blueberries in a little flour too– this is extra insurance they don’t sink!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!_-8

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is moist and soft, somewhere between a vanilla layer cake and pound cake. Silky cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch– it literally tastes like spreadable cheesecake. The cream cheese frosting goes onto the cake so easily, so it’s a really simple cake to decorate. Doesn’t need to be neat– its haphazardness adds to its charm, don’t you think?

Decorate with blueberries, lemon zest, lemon slices, whatever you like!

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

More Lemon Recipes For You

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Lemon blueberry cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sunshine-sweet lemon layer cake dotted with juicy blueberries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries in this cake. If using frozen, no need to thaw.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (345g) sifted all-purpose flour, (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest*
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 medium lemons)*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or frozen (do not thaw– 275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is completely combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice *just* until combined. Toss the blueberries with 1 Tablespoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not over-mix. Over-mixing will lead to a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.
  2. Sheet Cake: The batter makes a perfect sheet cake! Simply spread into a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. It also fits nicely into a 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Bundt Cake: I haven’t tested this as a bundt cake but it will likely be a bit denser than the original layer version since it’s one tall layer. It will take significantly longer to bake. I also have a lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe. You can leave out the poppy seeds and add 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries. I also have a lemon berry yogurt cake recipe. You can use all blueberries.
  4. Cupcakes: Here is my lemon cupcakes recipe. You can add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter and top with cream cheese frosting.
  5. Eggs: Room temperature eggs are recommended because they mix easily and quickly into the cake batter, reducing the risk of over-mixing (and an overly dense cake!). Place eggs into a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before using or set the eggs out when you set out your cream cheese/butter for the recipe.
  6. Flour: Be careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use the same amount of sifted cake flour instead.
  7. Buttermilk: Buttermilk creates a supremely moist lemon cake. If you do not have buttermilk, use whole milk instead.
  8. Lemons: You need about 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  9. Cream Cheese: Use brick-style cream cheese. Not cream cheese spread.
  10. Cream: Heavy cream with 30% or more milk fat preferred in frosting for the most delicious and creamiest texture. Milk works in a pinch!

Keywords: lemon blueberry cake, lemon cake, cake, lemon

Here’s my recipe for lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting – a reader favorite!

Lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

834 Comments

  1. Hi Sally, I am making this cake for a birthday party. It’s my first time baking a cake (wish me luck) and I will need to transport it. I bought the baking pans via your link on Amazon and realized I also will need to buy something to transport the cake. I found a cake box 10x10x5 and also 10 inch cake board on Amazon. Not sure if this is the size or even what I will need to transport the cake safely from one location to another. Any suggestions? Thank you

    1. Hi Lisa, Yes this cake would hold up to fondant. However I don’t recommend using cream cheese frosting with fondant as cream cheese frosting should always be refrigerated. If you use buttercream and fondant this cake should be ok to make a day or two in advance and store covered at room temperature.

  2. Hi Sally. Firstly, let me tell you I love your site & your recipes. You thought me how to make buttermilk & my own cake flour, thank you. I’m writing to tell you that I made your lemon & blueberry layer cake this weekend & I followed the recipe to the T. I even added my own homage cake flour & butter milk for extra lift & softness.
    But it turned out heavy & slightly rubbery. I Was so disappointed as this was my birthday cake & I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what went wrong, when it occurred to me, I used the whisk attachment instead of the paddle (I just got
    a kitchen aid for Xmas & am still learning my way around it) I certainly didn’t over beat it & kept to your time line. But could the whisk instead of the paddle really be the cause of the heavy slightly rubbery texture or could it be something else?
    I only have one cake tin that was suitable so I had to cook one, leave it to cool, remove it, clean it, regressed & line it, before I could pour the rest of the batter in. Could leaving it to sit there for 40 mins make the batter heavier, relaxing too much gluten?

    1. Hi Chris! Thank you so much for the kind comment and message, it was so lovely to read! The dense, almost rubbery texture could be a result of each of those things, notably letting the batter sit until ready to bake. It’s best to bake all the batter at once. Baking powder is initially activated once it’s wet, so I always recommend baking cake batter right away. I have plenty more tips and ideas that will help you for next time, too– I actually wrote two very in depth posts that I know you’ll appreciate for this (and all) cake baking! 10 Baking Tips for Perfect Cakes and How to Prevent a Dry or Dense Cake.

  3. I’m working on this tonight for my son’s first birthday tomorrow. The cakes look like the picture, but they are awfully flat. Worried its going to be too dense (and I did very minimal mixing). I also used 8″ pans so in theory they should be taller, but they’re super thin…I don’t know what I did wrong.

  4. Hello,
    I am questioning the gram measurement of the flour; dip and sweep should be 5 oz which translates to 140 grams hence 420 grams, not 345 grams. I understand that how ingredients are measured makes a huge difference, however, I always weigh my ingredients. Such a disparity makes significant difference in the final product. So is it three cups of flour (420 grams) or 2 1/2 cups (345 grams)? I’ve noticed, depending on the source, the weight of flour is not always the same but this seems like a big difference.
    Thanks for the recipe, I am looking forward to making it.

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m not sure if this will attach to your comment but thought I’d weigh in… I believe it depends on the flour you use. King Arthur flour weighs 120 grams per cup which would be 360 grams. I’m assuming that the 15 gram difference is due to the fact that the recipe calls for sifted flour. I know when I compare weights between King Arthur flour and Whole Foods AP the Whole Foods flour weighs more per cup. Hope this helps.

      1. Hi Ranell,
        Thanks for “weighing in”
        An ounce of flour is an ounce of flour, sifted or not.
        She must have sifted the flour and measured it and then weighed it. It’s the only way the weight is off by that much. I still haven’t heard back from the author of the recipe.

  5. Everyone loved this dense very lemony cake. I used a combo of Meyer lemons and Eureka for the juice and zest. I was worried that I might need to double the frosting, but it was in fact enough. I simply did very thin layers of it. It is a recipe worthy of saving in “The Best ” in my own recipe library. That mean… it will be made again. Thanks Sally! So far, all the recipes I have tried have been exceptional. (Coconut cake is a killer!)

  6. Hi Sally,
    Thank you for a wonderful site and recipes. I’ve made the Lemon Blueberry cake three times. The first time was perfect. The second and third time, while tasting great…was way too dense. I have no idea what I have done wrong. And I really don’t know the meaning of “over-mixing,” as this sounds subjective to the individual. Anyway, I will read your article on making the perfect cake and see if I can figure out what went wrong. Everybody loves the cake!

  7. Hi Sally,
    i made this cake, followed your recipe EXACTLY. Even followed the timings and speeds very religiously. It turned out to be GREAT. Everyone really liked the cake.It looked really good, wish i could attach the picture here. I’m based in Dubai and its 18-19 degrees temperature here so working with butter cream was a little tough. Also almost everyone who ate the cake mentioned that the frosting was extra sweet. Would you recommend any edit in the frosting recipe?

  8. I made this over the weekend.

    Easy to follow and good flavor.

    Very dense – which isn’t what I was looking for. I wanted something light, airy almost summer feeling.

    The flavor was good. I added more lemon zest and then extra lemon zest to the icing.

    I might would try again but looking for something light if you have a different recommendation.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ashley, Be careful not to overmeasure your flour. This will result in a heavy cake. For a lighter crumb, you can use the same amount of sifted cake flour instead.

  9. Hi sally! How are you? This recipe looks fantastic! I’ve just made it, but I decided to half the recipe as a I wanted 4 6” layers. However I only had enough mixture for 3 6” layers, and they were really thin at that lol could you advise on ingredient adjustments for 4 6” layers and/or 4 8” layers please?

    Thank you!!

  10. Made this cake last year as the base tier for my four tier 8th anniversary in the military and it was amazing. The cake was so moist and flavorful and literally everyone raved about it. I loved it so much, I’m making it for one of the tiers of my wedding cake on the 29th! It’s fresh, has great texture, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I love it enough to put it in my wedding even, lol.

  11. Hi sally! My family is vegan and I would like to make this for a birthday party, what would you recommend for substitutions? Thanks

    1. Hi Monet! I have very little experience baking vegan cakes, so I’m sorry I can’t be much help. I know readers have used Earth Balance brand buttery sticks to replace butter before, but unsure about the remaining ingredients.

  12. I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday. I followed the recipe exactly as written. The flavor was better than expected, but as others have stated, the cake did not rise well. It was much denser than I had anticipated. We still all inhaled it and enjoyed it, but not as light as I had hoped.

  13. Morning! I stumbled across this amazing cake! I want to make it for an evening potluck on a Monday night but I work all day. If I make it on Sunday, should I refrigerate it or leave it in my old Tupperware cake carrier on the counter

    1. Hi Shelly, You can prepare the cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Assemble the cake before your event on Monday. If you frost the cake on Sunday you will need to refrigerate the entire cake since it’s a cream cheese frosting.

  14. This cake is so delicious but like others have said, it came out very dense! I know Sally has mentioned subbing cake flour but then I wonder if all the blueberries would sink? Maybe it needs to be dense to keep the blueberries evenly dispersed. Anyone who has tried cake flour please let us know how it went. Despite the density, this is still one of my favorite cakes in this site.

  15. I would consider myself a novice cake baker as I’ve made less than a total five cakes from scratch. As with all recipes I’ve made from Sally’s blog, this turned out extraordinary and a recipe I will surely make repeatedly.
    I made the cake for our son’s birthday party with frozen blueberries we had picked in the summer. We swapped the cream cheese frosting with Sally’s vanilla buttercream frosting and it was a delicious match per our family’s taste.
    This cake is sure to be a favorite way to enjoy blueberries and lemon, and the one to bring to family gatherings.

  16. Hi Sally, I’ve made this cake today for the second time and I just realized I only added 2 eggs instead of 4. Ugh!
    May I ask what the role of the eggs is in a cake? In other words, will a cake be ruined if only some of the eggs are added?
    It’s such a scrumptious cake! I wish I had reread….

  17. Well the Family couldn’t wait to cut the cake today! And when they took their first bite the response was… “Oh My, this is awful…here we go again”!! Wink wink!! They were having a fit about how incredibly delicious it was and teasing me! I loved it too and am really more of a cookie person (had to make your oatmeal cookies today too)than cake lover. Very refreshing and love the lemon blueberry combination. Loved the icing of course!
    Can’t thank you enough AGAIN Sally! You are a hit and that makes me a hit in the dessert category!

  18. Sally, have you tried to use curd in the middle between the layers and just use the icing on the outside? I love the taste of curd and think it might be a nice addition, although I worry it may be too much going on. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Laura, I have used my Lemon Curd to fill cakes! I like to put down a thin layer of buttercream and then thicker ring around the outer edge of the cake to keep the curd in and stop the layers from slipping – then frost the outside as normal!

  19. I made this twice this week – once for our family and it was so good I made it again for a church fundraising auction – it sold for $50! Absolutely delicious I’ll be making it again

  20. I have made this cake and into cupcake so many times and it’s always a hit ! Well I doubled the recipe this time and well…def have some extra . I am wondering if I would be able to make it into a nice cake cookie! ? I figured I could do a simple icing on top of it worked! Any thoughts? Would I have to refrigerate the better first for a bit?

  21. I made your lemon blueberry layer cake recipe only made it in a bunds pan and used Splenda for the regular sugar. This is the best lemony cake ever such lemon flavor,perfect! My husband said it was the best he’s ever had,he loved the fact that it was very lemony! The cake just turned out perfect! I made a cream cheese lemon glaze for the frosting,excellent! Thank you for the recipe, I looked over so many different recipes online and went with yours,so glad I did! This will be my forever recipe, thank you!

  22. All your recipes look fabulous! I want to try them all! What kind of camera and lens do you use to take photos?

  23. Hi! I’ll be making this as a sheet cake (in a 9×13 cake pan). Do you know about how high the cake will rise in that case? Hoping it will be about 2” thick. Thanks!

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